New The Gate/New York Campaign Compares Being an Accountant to Getting a Tattoo

By Patrick Coffee 

Here’s one that kind of got our attention, because, please tell us how getting a tattoo is anything like being a certified accountant.

Before even watching the ad, we would guess: the process is long and painful in both cases, and many people come to regret it. That’s probably not true of becoming a CMA, though, because good accountants generally make more money than copywriters. And they have better job security too.

Ah, OK. It’s something you earn, like a bigass ink stain that all the laser procedures in the world will never remove from your back.

The ad is by The Gate/New York for the Institute of Management Accountants, and according to The Drum it’s been airing in some unexpected places like late night TV since last week. It’s aimed at young people and “finance professionals under 40,” and it’s trying to get them to consider earning the certification because the money will be worth all the work.

This may well be true, though we know at least one successful surgeon who says he maybe regrets giving up the rest if his life to score that certificate. Here’s the most shocking part of the campaign, though:

“According to The Gate’s research, 40 per cent of adults 26 to 40 years old have at least one tattoo (and 43 per cent of people with tattoos think a tattoo with a personal meaning is the most important factor).”

Wow, really? The point is that the market needs more certified accountants and young people want to make money, so the problems could theoretically solve each other.

Based on the YouTube comments, some CMAs seem to think that this spot adds much-needed “sex appeal” to their profession while others think it belies the importance of the job. But what about the CPA vs. CMA debate? Do you want to handle corporate finance or would you rather help individuals and independent businesses handle their financial concerns? Would you rather work for Donald Trump or the CEO of Wells Fargo?

It’s cool if you can’t decide. This is a multi-year campaign.